July 18, 2013 12:00AM
Construction of Pittsburg State University’s new Center for the Arts is on schedule and will soon enter a new phase.
“Most of the work that you see from the road has focused on the 1,100-seat auditorium,” said Chris Kelly, associate vice president for university marketing and communication. “Crews are now beginning to move to other portions of the site including the 250-seat theater and practice areas. It’s pretty exciting to see it moving forward.”
As a result of the expanding work area, the university will follow through with plans to remove its tennis courts, which are currently located just north of the Center for the Arts. These tennis courts will be closed to the public on Thursday, Aug. 1. Expanded parking will be built to support the Center for the Arts, John Lance Arena and the future Indoor Event Center.
“The removal of the courts has always been part of the construction plan for the Center for the Arts,” explained Kelly. “We know this will cause a temporary inconvenience for some students and community members, but we’re working with the city and school district to support municipal tennis courts in Pittsburg.”
The city of Pittsburg has been preparing for the closure of the university’s tennis courts and has applied for a Pritchett Trust Grant to help it renovate six of its current tennis courts.
“We know our courts will see an increase in use following the closure of the university’s tennis courts on August 1,” said Kim Vogel, director of Pittsburg parks and recreation. “We think this is the perfect project for a Pritchett Trust grant because it will benefit our entire community.”
Pittsburg State University is helping with the project by donating materials from its current tennis courts to the city.
“They’re great partners,” said Vogel. “We’re still working through the details, but we believe we’ll be able to reuse the nets, poles and lights at our facilities. It’ll really help us out as we move forward.”
In addition to community members and students, PSU’s tennis courts were also used extensively by Pittsburg High School for its tennis competitions.
“The plan is to use the city’s courts as we work through this year’s tennis season,” said Pittsburg Community Schools Superintendent Destry Brown. “We’re currently looking at options for a more permanent home for our tennis teams, but it will take time to finalize any formal proposal.”
Pittsburg State University is also planning for the future.
“Progress always involves change,” said Kelly. “The key is how you plan for it. We have a great 10-year master facilities plan in place and we enjoy great partnerships with the city and school district. The future is bright at Pittsburg State University.”